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Matsuura Machinery: Here to stay

By Philippe Le Saux
- Dec 29, 2014
Credit : GMI Post

“We’re off to a good start,” said Matsuura Machinery USA (MMU) President and Chief Executive Officer John Schwartz.

Since establishing the Japa­nese subsidiary in St. Paul, Min­nesota a mere nineteen months ago, Matsuura has already dou­bled the volume of its exports to the United States.

Matsuura Machinery USA's headquarters in Minnesota

Historically, Matsuura has ex­ported around one-third of its total production in the United States, making the recent surge in export volumes impressive.

“Matsuura’s decision to set up its operations here speaks volumes on the importance with which it views this market,” Schwartz said.

In the United States, MMU primarily provides automated turnkey solutions to various lev­els of the supply chain for medi­cal device, aerospace, oil & gas drilling and automotive com­panies requiring highly precise work.

Living up to its reputation in Japan for making high quality reliable machines, Matsuura has raised the competitiveness of its customers.

“When customers realize that Matsuura technology allows them to literally run machines all night and all weekend with­out needing any people, and they figure out what that means to their bottom line, they abso­lutely make more money with our product than with anything else,” he said.

Backed by its reputation for reliability and premium qual­ity, Matsuura’s move into the United States has also allowed it to greatly improve its customer service.

“Customers expect support. We have installed about 10,000 machines in the USA over the past 40 years. That’s a lot of customers expecting the best service because they bought the very best equipment. When they call, they expect to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about,” Schwartz said.

Having invested millions of dollars into its facilities, equip­ment and inventory in the United States, Matsuura’s com­mitment to North America is un­wavering.

“We are here, and we are go­ing to be here for a long time.” Schwartz said. 

- Originally prepared by Global Media for The Japan Times Special Report on the U.S. Midwest 2014 (Credit: Philippe Le SauxAngelo RomualdezElizabeth Arcega and Brian Banta)

Taiyo adds a healthy touch to American foods and beverages

By Philippe Le Saux
- Dec 29, 2014
Credit : GMI Post

A pioneer in developing emulsifiers, fiber, egg and tea-based ingredients, Yokkaichi­-based food manufacturer Taiyo Kagaku moved its North American sales operations to Minnesota in 1999, after five years in California, to be at the heart of the country’s massive food, beverage and dietary supplement industry.

“The food industry is heavily based in the Midwest, particularly Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Just within a few miles of our office, you will find some of the world’s largest food companies,” Taiyo International Vice President Scott Smith said.

Team Taiyo: (L-R) Paul Coffey, Mitsuko Plummer, Gustavo Gonzalo, Kazunori Kuroki, Molly Brown, Scott Smith, Rafael Roman, Bill Driessen

“We relocated here for a number of rea­sons, including a well-educated workforce, a dedication to health and wellness, a lower cost of doing business compared to the East and West coast alternatives and the direct flight to Japan was certainly helpful. We also have a very close relationship with the University of Minnesota, which has a strong food science division,” Smith added.

Taiyo’s emphasis on the development of innovative ingredients, derived from natural sources to strengthen the body’s ability to protect and manage one’s health, has spurred a growing interest from food and beverage companies, dietary supplement makers, as well as pharmaceutical firms throughout the world.

With over half of Taiyo’s international busi­ness generated in the Americas, the com­pany is intent on expanding brand awareness and leveraging its position in the Midwest.

“Unlike our well-established presence in Japan, when we first moved to the U.S., few in the industry were familiar with the Taiyo name. Due to our dedication to the local community and the national food and bever­age industry, Taiyo has become a well-known source for food ingredients that can be trust­ed for safety and efficacy,” Smith said.

“The United States is at the forefront of the wellness and dietary supplement category. At the same time, we are seeing a growing inter­est in this category from Japan and other in­dustrialized nations due to a rapidly aging pop­ulation that continues to place burdens on tra­ditional health care systems.

Our location here in the Midwest places us in a unique position not only to service the U.S. markets, but also allows us to strengthen innovation and cus­tomer support in Japan and other international markets,” Smith said. 

- Originally prepared by Global Media for The Japan Times Special Report on the U.S. Midwest 2014 (Credit: Philippe Le SauxAngelo RomualdezElizabeth Arcega and Brian Banta)

U.S. Midwest 2014 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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